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Why am I a Freemason?
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Names and places changed, but a true story...

My daughter Mary, 19, came to me and told me she met a boy from Italy and wanted to go with him for 6 months back home. After 3, she wanted to come home. He got angry and walked out. The family kicked her out on the street. A few hours later, the boys sister found out and came over and picked her up and took her to her home. She did not have any clothes, money, food, purse, passport or phone.

The next day the sister insisted on going back over and getting her belongings. As they did the boyfriend told Mary to get in the car and he would take her to Rome and put her up in a hotel. He did pay for her hotel and flight back, but left her without any money or food. The flight did not leave for 3 days and she did not have transport to the airport.

She called me crying. I started shaking, but kept my composure. I received all her contact information and hotel and sat down trying to decide what to do. While I was looking at my hands I noticed my mason ring. I quickly picked up the phone and called my Grand Lodge.

I was passed into an officer who told me it would be several hours before he could contact anyone in Italy (after hours). I had told Mary to lock her door and go to sleep.

I received a call from Rome and was assured the Grand Secretaries wife was on her way over. I told her to wake her up. She knocked on her door at 7:15am and asked if she was Mary. Mary answered in the affirmative. And the woman said, I'm here for you. Your dad sent me." She took her to breakfast, Shopping, Lunch, then called me and said, "Dad, I love you." They then took her in and kept her til her plane left.

If masonry does nothing else for me, I am more than satisfied to be a Mason.


Lodge Night

He slowly opened the door to his locker. He hung his police uniform on the hooks and took out his suit. It was Lodge night.

He watched as the last employee left his business, locked the building and made the evening bank drop. He then headed off with a whistle on his lips and a spring in his step. It was Lodge night.

The young man helped his wife clear the table. He then said good night to his children and snuck into his room to change his clothes. Upon leaving he smiled at his wife and kissed her. It was Lodge night.

It had been a hard day. Navigating through the complexities of the legal system was rewarding work. It was also tiring. Normally he would have been headed home for a relaxing evening. But tonight was not normal and he felt none of the usual fatigue as tonight was Lodge night.

Life had not been pleasant since his wife died. His family lived far away and with each passing year it became harder and harder to do the simple things in life. And most of all he missed his life long partner. Tonight he felt a little less pain and life didn't seem nearly as bad. It was Lodge night.

The accident had been terrible. But there was some consolation that his skills as a doctor had saved a life. Still it would not be easy and there were possibilities of complications. But for a while he could place his worries in the hands of others as tonight was Lodge night.

It is hard looking for work when the job market is scarce. Each day he faced the nameless horde of people who continue to tell him that he was not needed. He faced rejection and the possibility of hardship at every turn. Tonight he knew he was wanted and needed, it was Lodge night.

He sat alone in the small room wearing clothes that were not his. He had received warm welcomes from a number of men he didn't know and a few he did. Now with an ancient relic of a bygone age they told him to wait patiently, yet he looked forward to it with anticipation. It was his first Lodge night.

From all walks of life we come. We donate our time to an age honored tradition. We donate our money to help those who cannot help themselves. We gather in fellowship and part in peace. For a while we can lay aside our differences and worries to bask in our shared experiences. We can talk with men who are our equals, men who work to better themselves. Tonight is Lodge night and I am glad I am a Mason.


As published by the Masonic Renewal Committee of North America
Freemasonry is the oldest, largest Fraternity in the world. It's members have included Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Statesmen, Generals, Admirals, Supreme Court Chief Justices, corporate CEOs, opera stars, movie stars, and probably, your next door neighbor. And Masonry is always ready to welcome good men in the Fraternity. It's ready to welcome YOU, if in your heart you can answer yes to a few questions.

Do you believe that there is such a thing as honor, and that a man has a responsibility to act with honor in everything he does?
  • Masons teach that principle. We believe that a life not founded on honor is hollow and empty -- that a man who acts without honor is less than a man.
Do you believe in God?
  • No atheist can be a Mason. Masons do not care what your individual faith is -- that is question between you and your God -- but we do require that a that a man believe in a Supreme Being.
Are you willing to allow others the same right to their own beliefs that you insist on yourself?
  • Masonry insists on toleration -- on the right of each person to think for himself in religious, social and political matters
Do you believe that you have a responsibility to leave the world a better place than you found it?
  • Masonry teaches that each man has a duty not only to himself but to others. We must do what we can to make the world a better place. Whether that means cleaning up the environment, working on civic projects, or helping children to work or read or see -- the world should be a better place because we have passed through it.
Do your believe that it is not only more blessed to give than to receive, it's also more fun?
  • Masons are involved with the problems and needs of others because we know it gives each of us a good feeling -- unlike any other -- to help. Much of our help is given anonymously. We're not after gratitude, we're more than rewarded by that feeling which comes from knowing we have helped another person overcome some adversity, so that their life can go on. Masonry is mutual help. Not just financial help (although that's there, too) but help in the sense of being there when needed, giving support, lending a sympathetic ear.
Do you feel that there's something more to life than financial success?
  • Masons know that self-development is more precious than money in the bank or social position or political power. Those things often accompany self-development, but they are no substitute for it. Masons work at building their lives and character, just as a carpenter works a building a house.
Do you believe that a person should strive to be a good citizen and the we have a moral duty to be true to the county in which we live?
  • Masons believe that a country is strong as long as freedom, equality, and the opportunity for human development is afforded to all. A Mason is true to his government and its ideals. He supports its laws and authority when both are just and equitably applied. We uphold and maintain the principles of good government, and oppose every influence that would divide it in a degrading manner.
Do you agree that man should show compassion for others, that goodness of heart is among the most important of human values?
  • Masons do. We believe in a certain reverence for living things, a tenderness toward people who suffer. A loving kindness for our fellow man, and a desire to do right because it is right. Masonry teaches that although all men are fallible and capable of much wrong, when they discover the goodness of heart, they have found the true essence of virtue. Masonry helps men see their potential for deep goodness and virtue.
Do you believe that men should strive to live a brotherly life?
  • Masons see brotherhood as a form of wisdom, a sort of bond that holds men together -- a private friendship that tells us we owe it to each other to be just in our dealings and to refuse to speak evil of each other. Masons believe a man should maintain an attitude of good will, and promote unity and harmony is his relations with one another, his family, and his community. Masons call this way of believing in the Brotherhood of Man. It really means that every Mason makes it his duty to follow the golden rule. This is why Masonry has been called one of the greatest forces for good in the world.


IF YOU ANSWERED YES, YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER BECOMING A MASON.

Freemasonry offers much to its members -- the opportunity to grow, the chance to make a difference, to build a better world for our children. It offers the chance to be with and work with men who have the same values and ideals -- men who have answered YES to these questions.

It's easy to find out more. Just find a Mason and ask him about Masonry. You probably know several Masons. Perhaps you've seen the Square and Compasses on a pin or tie tack or bumper sticker. If you know where the lodge is in your community stop by, or you can look up the number of your local Masonic lodge in the phone book or a local newspaper in the meetings section and find the secretary of the lodge. He'll be happy to help you.

The danger in an organization such as ours is that, while it begins with ideals and principles, the organization may become the greatest enemy to those ideals and principles. Some person has imagined a conversation between the devil and some angels. The angels proudly told the devil that a way had been found to defeat him. When he asked how it would be done, they told him that God was going to give men lofty ideals and challenging principles to be proclaimed to the world. The devil just laughed, and told them that he could not be defeated that way, for all he would have to do would be to institutionalize the ideals and the principles, and it would only be a matter of time until men would forget the ideals and principles as they tried to keep the institution alive.
As I once heard a friend of mine explain, "first the idea creates the organization, then the organization chokes the idea." We can become so concerned about keeping an organization alive that we forget the ideas and ideals that give it birth. We begin by having a great ideal force our thinking and acting into new channels, and we end by serving an organization. Freemasonry must be a force to be used, and not a form to be served.

- Bro. Thomas Sherrard Roy (1884-1980), Dare We Be Masons?-1966

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